Last Chance for Winter Casseroles

Because casseroles use only one dish, there’s minimal cleanup. Here are five lighter casseroles to cook up.

Food Network's Mexican Layered Bean Casserole

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

There’s nothing better than cozying up to a delicious casserole. And because casseroles use only one dish, there’s minimal cleanup. Here are five lighter casseroles to cook up before spring weather arrives.

Mexican Layered Bean Casserole (pictured above)

With far fewer calories than most prepared Mexican fare (only 332 per serving!), this Mexican-inspired casserole is . Pinto beans, pico de gallo, corn tortillas, cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese make up this quick and easy dish that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

FNK_CHICKEN_RICE_PAPRIKAS_CASSEROLE_H_.jpg

FNK_CHICKEN_RICE_PAPRIKAS_CASSEROLE_H_.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

This easy one-dish dinner is made with red bell peppers for a boost of vitamin C, which is especially important during cold and flu season. The brown rice soaks up the sauce for a satisfying fiber-filled meal.

Ellie Krieger's Tuna Casserole as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Think back to your childhood memories with this lighter version of the popular dish. Made with a combination of low-fat milk and low-sodium chicken broth, this dish is low in calories and fat, so you can enjoy it without the guilt.

Turkey, polenta, tomatoes, jalapenos and black beans will make you feel warm and cozy inside. The lighter dose of cheese helps complement the dish, without going overboard on calories and fat.

Use frozen peaches to get your juices flowing in this French toast bake. Warming cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar complement the dish.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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